Before & After: Brightening a Malibu Beach House
By Erinn Valencich
This Malibu home had all the trappings of a run-of-the-mill builder’s special. And with its cold tile floors and pedestrian color palette, it felt more like a vacation rental than a welcoming beach house.
The owners, who had previously lived in New York, wanted their home to reflect an elegant, easygoing Malibu lifestyle, which meant that a floor-to-ceiling overhaul was in order.
The first step was to address the floors. With three young boys and two Great Danes, the homeowners needed flooring that would really perform. The outdated limestone tile was replaced with a laminate flooring that not only looks beautiful, but also is scratch-resistant, making it an ideal option for families with children. And in addition to being more cost-effective than other options, laminate flooring can be installed right on top of tile floors and other surfaces, saving both time and money.
The original tile floors felt cold and hard, but the wood tones in this new laminate flooring warm up the space and give it the beachy, sophisticated feel the owners were looking for.
While the overall color palette is made up of bright whites, soft creams, and pale neutrals, darker hues were selected for upholstery fabrics to make the furniture more kid-friendly and to add some depth to the overall design scheme.
Because the ceilings in this home are of average height, existing living room cabinetry was pushed upward to visually heighten the room.
Beachy, seaside-inspired hues continue throughout the home. In the kitchen, stretching the backsplash tiles up to the ceiling made a world of difference, and gave the space a truly designer feel.
The master bedroom, which was once dark and dull, now feels sophisticated and light, thanks to rich, textured wallpaper, modern bedside tables, and white accent pieces.
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Photos courtesy of August Dering.
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